26 March 2020- Day 10
Ten thirty on a weekday, is a late hour for neighbour’s cars to be cluttering their driveways, but most people have been instructed to work at home. The schools have been closed since Friday 20th with the threat, or promise, depending on whether you play on an Xbox or not, that they may remain so until the September term.
I mused about the long-term effect that these measures will have on our lives and concluded that a lot of things would never be the same again. People’s lives will be changed for the period and not all of them will return to their previous routines. We received the news yesterday that even the 71-year-old Prince Charles has the Virus.
On a more cheerful note, I’d run out of preservative after coating one side of just two trellis panels. So much for skimping. If I can’t finish, then I can’t fix them to the wall and the job is in limbo for the duration.
I drove straight out of my estate onto a clear main road. The sky was free of vapour trails and tree blossoms had opened to the sun. It reminded me of Enid Blyton land and walking to school in the 1950s.
Only one DIY store had not posted its closure, so I drove the tranquil streets and was relieved to see the car park half full. The automatic front doors refused to open and that’s when I noticed the small and now familiar notice taped to the glass. ‘Due to the Coronavirus outbreak …store closed until further notice… safety of our colleagues and customers…’ A half-done job is always hard to go back to, I must find preservative somewhere.
A nippy drive and I found a DIY shop open. I pulled down the baseball cap feeling a bit conspicuous about going were I had not trod before. Somewhere within the tall racks crammed with supplies, I found just what I wanted. A sign announced that cash wasn’t acceptable, (filthy lucre) so I paid the gloved attendant by touch card.
So, the job went on.
In the evening our young neighbours delivered a three-line whip to the FWFs (Fogies without Facebook), to be outside at 8pm. Annemarie Plas a Dutch lady living in Brixton had promoted a nationwide tribute to the hardworking NHS and care workers- ‘Clap for Carers.’ Shadowy figures in winter coats greeted each other from a safe distance for the first time in days. Others stood silhouetted at their bedroom windows. It reminded me of long-gone New Year’s Eves, when neighbours took to the streets to sing in the coming year.
At 8pm a few clapped and cheered, then it spread along the Close and up to the open windows and they cheered. Across the Green came more applause and a bugle joined in. Then the explosion of fireworks took to the air from the next street. A very moving tribute and all down to Annemarie.